Gaetano and Nicoletta Gargano are the proprietors of Il Censo, an estate of 65 hectares situated in Bivona in the south-central zone of Sicily near the town of Palazzo Adriana. Gaetano’s family, through his mother’s side (family name: Spoto), has owned Il Censo for over 200 years. Production over the years was principally of grains and legumes but there was also a small vineyard planted to Perricone and Malvasia Nera and an old olive grove whose trees are now 100 years old. The name “Il Censo” literally means “census” but in this instance most likely refers to the obligations of the tenant farmers to pay tribute to the landowning family, a system that dates back to feudal times. The name predates the Spoto time of ownership.
As has been the case so often, much of the agricultural activity at Il Censo was abandoned over the years. Gaetano determined to reinvigorate the farming activity at Il Censo and, with the guidance of Giampiero, began by planting 5 hectares of vineyards split between the white Cataratto grape and the black Perricone variety.
Praruar – Terre Siciliane Bianco: produced exclusively from Catarratto grapes grown on the Il Censo estate outside of Palazzo Adriano; vineyards are farmed organically and grapes are harvested manually, with harvest occurring usually in October; the grapes maintain contact with the skins for two to three weeks, the length of the maceration depending on the vintage; only indigenous yeasts are used during fermentation and no temperature controls are utilized; the wines is bottled with being fined or filtered.
The Praruar, meaning golden in the once-locally-spoken Greek and Albanian, presents aromas and flavors of the local volcanic subsoil, nuts, fennel, and iron. Rich and deep, yet still elegant, this balanced expression of one of Sicily's most exciting white varieties combines acid, extract, tannin into an intriguing, delicious, gustatory experience.